Mar 20, 2023 - World

North Korea drills simulated "nuclear counterattack," state media claims

People watch a television news screen showing a picture of North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un witnessing the recent test-firing of a Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), at a railway station in Seoul on Friday. Photo: Jung Yeon-je/AFP via Getty Images

North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un oversaw tactical drills "simulating a nuclear counterattack" over the weekend, the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) claimed Monday.

The big picture: The drills that included a fifth missile test this month came as the U.S. and South Korean militaries conducted a days-long joint exercise that Seoul described as a "defense posture in the face of North Korea’s continued regional instability," but which Pyongyang regards as hostile.

Details: Kim expressed his "satisfaction" over the drills that included test-firing a "tactical ballistic missile tipped with a mock nuclear warhead," according to KCNA.

  • The state-run agency shared photos of Kim with his middle-school-aged daughter attending the missile test.
  • South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said Sunday it detected that Pyongyang had fired a short-range ballistic missile that flew some 500 miles before landing in the East Sea.
  • U.S. Forces Korea tweeted Sunday that it was aware of the launch and was consulting further with allies and partners.

What we're watching: The United Nations Security Council was due to hold an emergency meeting Monday at the request of the U.S. and several other allies to discuss Pyongyang's test-firing of an intercontinental ballistic missile last week, per AP.

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